Who are Grimsby Town? The League Two club enjoying FA Cup fairytale run ahead of Brighton clash


The FA Cup is no stranger to shocks, giant killings and teams upsetting the odds to reach the latter stages of the tournament.

The competition still holds a fond place in the hearts of football fans across the world, with supporters often backing the underdog if their own team is not involved.

Keeping an eye out for a unexpected result is a huge part of the excitement of the FA Cup, with the 2022/23 edition already throwing up some wild wins, with four non-Premier League sides featuring in the quarterfinals.

Alongside Championship trio Burnley, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers, the presence of League Two side Grimsby Town is a real bolt from the blue, as they aim for a shock at Brighton & Hove Albion.

MORE: FA Cup quarter final draw results, fixtures, dates and times for 2022/23 tournament

Who are Grimsby Town?

Fans from outside of England can be forgiven for being new to the prospect of Grimsby Town making a push for FA Cup glory due to their low key reputation.

Based on the rainy North East coast of England, the club has developed a strong link with the local area with supporters deeply tied into the clubs roots.

Formed in 1879, the club entered the Football League pyramid in 1892, winning the Second Division title in 1901, before yo-yoing between league and non-league football for the following century.

Financial issues have played a damaging role in their modern problems, with two relegations out of the Football League since 2010, before returning to League Two at the start of 2022/23.

Have Grimsby Town played in the Premier League?

Grimsby’s off-field issues have created friction between their committed fan base and the club’s changing ownership but they have remained loyal through the bad times.

Since the creation of the Premier League, they have never played in the top-flight of English football, with no real chance of making the leap.

A ninth -place finish in the old First Division in 1992/93 was the closest they came to a playoff challenge before plummeting down the divisions.

Grimsby Town road to 2023 FA Cup quarterfinals

Despite playing non-league football in the National League as recently as last season, Grimsby’s run to the 2022/23 FA Cup quarterfinals has been sensational.

Paul Hurst’s side began their journey to the last eight way back in the first round by beating League One opposition in the form of Plymouth Argyle, Cambridge United and Burton Albion, either side of the World Cup break.

They required a replay to get past Luton Town in fourth round before the big scalp of beating Premier League side Southampton in the Round of 16.

Gavan Holohan’s two penalties saw them past the Saints, to become the first fourth-tier side to reach the quarterfinals since Cambridge in 1990.

Another trip to the south coast, this time at Brighton, is the Mariners reward for their superb run, and Hurst will be rallying his team for a shock.

Grimsby Town’s FA Cup record

Unsurprisingly, Grimsby’s historical FA Cup record does not include many quarterfinal appearances, with 1908 the first time they reached this stage, losing out to Newcastle United.

That was followed up by semifinal spots in 1936 and 1939, losing to Arsenal and Wolves, with their best return in recent memory coming in 1995/96, as they took Chelsea to a fifth round replay, before losing 4-1 at Stamford Bridge.

FA Cup biggest shocks

Part of the FA Cup’s enduring ‘magic’ is the competition’s ability to pull off some massive surprises on an almost annual basis.

Fans are divided over the biggest FA Cup of all time, but the wildest of the Premier League era is surely Wigan Athletic’s final win over Manchester City 2013, with the Latics relegated from the Premier League a week after the final.

Wimbledon’s famous final win over Liverpool in 1998 is another iconic Wembley shock, but in the earlier rounds, fourth-division side Wrexham famously knocked out first-division champions Arsenal in the third round.